Bird Strike On Lagos-Owerri Flight, Air Peace Craft Fails To Land

The Chinese nationals departed via an Air Peace flight.
A file photo of an Air Peace plane.

 

The management of the private Nigerian airline, Air Peace has said that its Flight P47154 which departed Lagos at 12pm on Saturday August 27, 2022, for Owerri, could not land due to a bird strike.

In a brief communique on Sunday, the airline said the strike got the bird stuck on the left main landing gear of the craft.


READ ALSO: Strike: FG Should Sign Renegotiated Agreement With ASUU Immediately – Falana


According to statement, the strike affected the operating parameters of the landing gear which made the pilots follow regulatory safety procedures by returning to Lagos where they landed the aircraft safely without any incident.

Passengers disembarked normally and another aircraft has been deployed to operate the flight.

The airline apologised for the inconveniences caused to all passengers affected by this situation and be assured of its strict compliance with established safety standards.

Airlines Threaten To Shutdown Services On Monday Over Price Of Jet Fuel

A file photo of the Murtala Muhammed International Airport.
A file photo of the Murtala Muhammed International Airport.

 

The Airline Operators of Nigeria have announced suspension of their operations from Monday, May 9, following a rise in cost of jet A1 and other costs.

The airlines – Azman Air, Max Air, United Nigeria Airways, Ibom Air, Arik Air, Air Peace, Dana Air and Overland Airways – made this known in a letter addressed to the Minister of Aviation, Hadi Sirika while copying the Director General of the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority, Captain Musa Nuhu.

Aviation fuel price (JetA1) has risen from N190 per litre to N700 and the airlines have revolted, stressing that no airline in the world can absorb the astronomical hike.

READ ALSO: Airline Operators Threaten To Sue FG

The airlines said with the current fuel hike, it has increased its fuel cost component from 40% to 95% in Nigeria and also affected the cost of a seat per head which should be at least N120,000.

The operators appealed to passengers for understanding as the situation is currently biting.

 

See full statement below:

AIRLINE OPERATORS TO SHUT DOWN OPERATIONS AMIDST HIGH COST OF JETA1, SYMPATHISE WITH PASSENGERS

Lagos; May 6, 2022. It is with a great sense of responsibility and patriotism that the Airline Operators of Nigeria (AON) have carried on deploying and subsidizing their services to our highly esteemed Nigerian flying public in the last four months despite the steady and astronomical hike in the price of JetA1 and other operating costs.

Overtime, aviation fuel price (JetA1) has risen from N190 per litre to N700 currently. No airline in the world can absorb this kind of sudden shock from such an astronomical rise over a short period. While aviation fuel worldwide is said to cost about 40% of an airline’s operating cost globally, the present hike has shut up Nigeria’s operating cost to about 95%.

In the face of this, airlines have engaged the Federal Government, the National Assembly, NNPC and Oil Marketers with the view to bringing the cost of JetA1 down which has currently made the unit cost per seat for a one hour flight in Nigeria today to an average of N120,000. The latter cannot be fully passed to passengers who are already experiencing a lot of difficulties.

While AON appreciates the efforts of the current government under the leadership of President Muhammadu Buhari to ensure air transport in Nigeria grows, unfortunately, the cost of aviation fuel has continued to rise unabated thereby creating huge pressure on the sustainability of operations and financial viability of the airlines. This is unsustainable and the airlines can no longer absorb the pressure.

To this end therefore, the Airline Operators of Nigeria (AON) hereby wishes to regrettably inform the general public that member airlines will discontinue operations nationwide with effect from Monday May 9, 2022 until further notice.

AON uses this medium to humbly state that we regret any inconveniences this very difficult decision might cause and appeal to travelers to kindly reconsider their travel itinerary and make alternative arrangements.

Signed:
Alhaji (Dr.) Abdulmunaf Yunusa Sarina
President

Jointly signed by:
1. Alhaji Shehu Wada – Executive Director, Max Air 2. Dr. Obiora Okonkwo – Chairman, United Nigeria Airlines
3. Capt. Mfon Udom – CEO, Ibom Air 4. Capt. Roy Ilegbodu – CEO, Arik Air
5. Capt. Abdullahi Mahmood – CEO, Aero Contractors 6. Alhaji Faisal Abdulmunaf – MD, Azman Air
7. Capt. Edward Boyo – CEO, Overland Airways 8. Mr. Sukh Mann – Deputy CEO, Dana Air
9. Barr. Allen Onyema, Chairman, Air Peace

CC: Honourable Minister of Aviation
DG, Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority

 

Air Peace Commences Operations At New MMIA Terminal

 

Air Peace Airline has announced that it will be commencing its international flight operations at the new terminal of the Murtala Muhammed International Airport (MMIA), Ikeja, Lagos.

The airline will be the first to begin operations at the new terminal.

The new terminal was commissioned nearly a month ago, built by the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN).

A statement from its spokesperson, Stanley Olisa, notified the public that, from April 19, 2022, its international and regional flight departures would be at the Terminal 2 of the Lagos Airport.

 

Deputy Speaker Meets Aviation Stakeholders Over Fuel Scarcity

 

Airline operators cannot operate safely with a 50 thousand naira base for airfares, the Director-General of the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority, Captain Muda Nuhu, said on Thursday.

He stated this at a meeting with the Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives, Ahmed Wase, over the scarcity and high cost of aviation fuel which has seen a rise in the hike in air fares.

Meanwhile, airline operators said they cannot survive the next 72 hours with the current price of aviation fuel, as they have been paying the cost of subsidising the cost of the aviation fuel.

CEO of Air Peace, Allen Onyema reiterated that the airlines are making too much sacrifices to keep the aviation sector alive.

Five Nigeria Airlines Form Alliance For Improved Service Delivery

Nigeria airlines namely Air Peace, Azman Air, United Nigeria Airline, Arik Air, Aero Contractors, and Max Air have announced an alliance called the ‘Spring Alliance’, to mutually support each other’s operations and surpass the expectations of the flying public.

The carriers signed the alliance on Tuesday, March 8, 2022, in Lagos.

The Chairman of Air Peace and Vice-President of the Airline Operators of Nigeria (AON), Allen Onyema, during the announcement said that the Spring Alliance is for the benefit of the passengers who fly with the six airlines.

“In the Aviation world, we have so many alliances airlines key into. We have the Star Alliance; there is One World and several others. And airlines decide to key into those alliances for the benefit of both the passengers and the airlines themselves.

“So, today, in Nigeria, the 8th day of March 2022, some airlines in Nigeria notably, Air Peace, Azman Air, Arik Air, Aero Contractors, Max Air & United Nigeria have decided to come together to form what we call the Spring Alliance.

“By this alliance our passengers are protected whenever there is a problem with one airline. It is our response to the complaints of the flying public, so this alliance will enable us to satisfy them,” he said.

Onyema stressed that the initiative to form the alliance is a noble one, representing a revolution in Nigeria’s aviation sector while urging other airlines to tap into the benefits offered by the alliance by joining.

He said that the Spring Alliance is not limited to Nigerian airlines alone, as other African airlines may wish to join, adding that the alliance originated from Nigeria, but is open to the world.

“This will help aviation, it will help the sustainability of our operations, it will help the cause of the flying public to experience seamless commuting whenever they choose to.

“This is where we are today, so we are hereby putting our signatories to these papers today, launching this idea that will revolutionise Nigeria’s scheduled flight operations for the better,” Onyema added.

He also thanked all the relevant aviation stakeholders, adding that “this is just the beginning. This alliance is not only for Nigerian airlines; we are looking at other airlines around the world keying into the Spring Alliance.”

The CEO of United Nigeria Airline, Obiora Okonkwo, said the alliance would revolutionise flight services for the Nigerian flying public, as passenger satisfaction is the major objective behind the formation of the alliance.

Ukraine: FG To Begin Evacuation Of Nigerians From Wednesday – Onyeama

 

Air Peace and Max Air may begin the evacuation of Nigerians from Ukraine on Wednesday, the Federal Government has announced.

The Minister of Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyeama, stated this on Monday during a meeting with the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila.

Onyeama said the evacuation will be done following the approval of President Muhammadu Buhari.

READ ALSO: Parents Of Nigerian Students In Ukraine Protest At Russian Embassy

With Ukraine still at war with Russia and a no-fly zone effective across the country, the evacuation is expected to take place from neighbouring countries.

Earlier on Monday the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said hundreds of Nigerians have been received in Poland, Hungary and Romania by Nigerian embassies in those countries.

Nigerians have continued to flee Ukraine after Russia invaded the East European nation last week.

Talks commenced between both parties on Monday but fighting has continued in Ukrainian cities.

Evacuation efforts

Many Nigerian students in Ukraine have called for help in leaving the conflict hotspot.

The nation’s embassy in Ukraine initially asked citizens to take responsibility for their own security but have since reversed course.

On Monday, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said 130 Nigerians have been received by the country’s embassy in Romania.

In a statement, the ministry explained that it has also provided accommodation for them while arrangements are being made to take them back home.

“Also, officials at Budapest, Hungary have received and accommodated 74 Nigerians safely, where they are being documented for subsequent travel arrangements back to Nigeria,” the statement, signed by the ministry’s Permanent Secretary, Ambassador Gabriel Aduda, read.

According to him, another batch of about 200 Nigerians is expected in Budapest later in the day. He also said 52 persons have been received in Warsaw, Poland. Of the number, 23 are being processed at the Polish Government Reception Point at Hala Kijowska.

“The camp is well organised with beds and beddings, food, heating, clothing, and medicals for evacuees,” the statement added.

“We assure Nigerians that all hands are on deck and arrangements are being put in place to effectively evacuate our citizens, in safety and dignity.”

The Federal Government’s recent move was a sequel to the Russian invasion of Ukraine about five days ago. On Sunday, the ministry said the Hungarian and Romanian governments have approved visa-free access to Nigerians coming from the Eastern European nation.

“For now, movement to the Hungarian Zahony border and Romanian Suceava, Tulcea, Satu Mare County & Maramures borders is advised, as they have approved visa-free access to all Nigerians coming from Ukraine and arrangements for accommodation and feeding before evacuation is arranged,” Aduda said.

We Never Disrespected The Emir Of Kano – Air Peace

An Air Peace aircraft.

 

Air Peace has debunked reports that the airline disrespected the Emir of Kano as well as the people of the state.

In a statement issued on Friday, the Chief Operating Officer, Air Peace Ltd, Mrs Toyin Olajide, explained the incident which led to the comments by one Isa Bayero, who had allegedly accused the airline of not delaying a flight for the Emir.

The flight to Kano had been slated for 6:15 am but the Emir and his entourage were said to have still been at the Lagos International Airport after just arriving from Banjul, the Gambia.

According to a statement, delaying the flight would have caused “a very serious uproar in the media nationwide against both the airline and the Emir”.

Olajide noted that by deciding to not delay the flight, Isa Bayero alleged that the airline had disrespected the Emir.

“We are, therefore, appalled that this statement would be made to incite such negativity towards the airline,” the statement read in part, while reiterating the company’s respect for the Emir.

“We make bold to say that the Emir of Kano we know would have been offended to know that a flight already taxiing was halted and delayed for over 40 minutes for him.

“The Emir would never have supported this publication. He may not have even known our offers and our reasons given to Prince Isa Bayero.”

Read the full statement below.

Our attention has been drawn to a written complaint by one Isa Bayero to the DG of the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) against Air Peace and which is published in the public domain.

In the complaint, Mr. Isa Bayero alleged that Air Peace disrespected the Emir of Kano and the people of Kano by not delaying the Airline’s 6:15 am flight to Kano for the Emir! Rather than disrespect the reverred Emir of Kano, Air Peace did all that it could to protect the name and image of the emir from ridicule by not succumbing to what Isa Bayero demanded of the Airline.

If the Airline had agreed to halt and delay an aircraft already set to go – for another one hour – only for the door to be opened and the Emir and his entourage walk in, there would have been a very serious uproar in the media nationwide against both the airline and the Emir.

This we pleaded with Isa Bayero to understand, but he refused to accept.

How could Isa Bayero want the management of Air Peace to halt and delay a fully boarded aircraft with doors shut and aircraft already moving, while our respected Emir and eight others in his entourage, including Isa Bayero, were still when I reported this statement to the Chairman, he did not believe me and insinuated that I might not have heard him rightly, because Isa Bayero was well acquainted with him and could not have said such.

It is, therefore, to my utmost shock that we saw in the media this deliberate falsehood.

It is so unfortunate that Isa Bayero will go to this extent to portray the Chairman and Air Peace in this manner.

The Chairman of Air Peace has the highest regard for the traditional institution as it could be recalled that the Emir of Kano had previously issued a certificate of commendation to the Chairman for his philanthropic work to the people of Kano and as such holds the office of the Emir and all traditional institutions in highest esteem.

We are, therefore, appalled that this statement would be made to incite such negativity towards the airline.

We make bold to say that the Emir of Kano we know would have been offended to know that a flight already taxiing was halted and delayed for over 40 minutes for him.

The Emir would never have supported this publication. He may not have even known our offers and our reasons given to Prince Isa Bayero.

We reiterate our respects to our reverred Emir of Kano.

UAE Concedes Seven Flight Slots To Nigeria

A file photo of the Minister of Aviation, Hadi Sirika.

 

The Federal Government has confirmed that the United Arab Emirates has conceded seven flight slots to Nigeria’s carrier, Air Peace.

The move, which was confirmed by the Ministry of Aviation on Tuesday, follows the withdrawal of Emirates’ 21-slot winter schedule by the Federal Government owing to what it described as a breach of reciprocity.

The UAE had earlier denied Air Peace flights from operating to Sharjah, near Dubai, three times a week.

It also joined the United Kingdom, Canada, and Argentina in adding Nigeria on its travel red list over cases of the omicron variant of COVID-19.


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While the UK has cleared Nigeria and 10 other countries from its red list, the UAE has still maintained the travel restrictions.

The presidential steering committee on COVID-19 has assured Nigerians that the Federal Government is working assiduously to ensure that the flight restrictions are lifted in about a week.

Meanwhile, also on Tuesday, Speaker of the House of Representatives, Rep. Femi Gbajabiamila, met with representatives of Emirates Airline, the Chairman/CEO of Air Peace, Allen Onyema, and heads of agencies in the aviation sector over the flight flow between the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Nigeria.

Others present at the meeting were the Ministers of Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyema, and his aviation counterpart, Hadi Sirika.

After the meeting which lasted for about three hours behind closed doors, Gbajabiamila told journalists that it was a fruitful deliberation where issues at stake were discussed.

The Speaker said both Nigeria and UAE had good diplomatic relations and that they would not allow the current row to mar the long-standing friendship.

Flight Row: Gbajabiamila Meets Air Peace, Emirates Officials

A file photo of Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila.
A file photo of Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila.

 

The Speaker of the House of Representatives, Rep. Femi Gbajabiamila, on Tuesday met with representatives of Emirates Airline, the Chairman/CEO of Air Peace, Allen Onyema, and heads of agencies in the aviation sector over the flight flow between the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Nigeria. 

Also present at the meeting were the Ministers of Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyema and his aviation counterpart, Hadi Sirika.

After the meeting, which was held behind closed doors and lasted for about three hours, Gbajabiamila told journalists that it was a fruitful deliberation where issues at stake were discussed.

The Speaker said both Nigeria and UAE had good diplomatic relations and that they would not allow the current row to mar the long-standing friendship.

Read Also: [Omicron] UK Govt Removes Nigeria, 10 Others From Red List

He said there were steps taken to address the issues and that “in the next couple of days, this matter will be sealed, I believe. We’re engaged in parliamentary diplomacy. That’s what we’re doing.

“We’re not going to allow this to mar the giant strides made between the two countries.”

The Speaker noted that the UAE Government had already written Air Peace to allow the airline to operate seven slots of flights.

He commended the two ministers for their efforts in resolving the issues even as he appreciated Nigerians for their sacrifices and for standing by the Nigerian Government on the face-off.

On his part, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyema, said the meeting under Gbajabiamila’s leadership was a fruitful one, noting that the action pointed to the relevance of Executive-Legislative engagements.

He said they were hopeful that all the issues would be resolved in no distant future.

Passengers Cheat Death As Plane’s Tyre Bursts At Ilorin Airport

The Chinese nationals departed via an Air Peace flight.
File photo of an Air Peace flight.

 

Sixty-six passengers onboard an Air Peace aircraft narrowly escaped death as the plane’s tyre burst on landing at the Ilorin Airport in Kwara State.

The incident happened on Friday while the B737-500 aircraft with registration number 5N-BQR was taxiing to the parking bay at the airport.

The passengers are said to have disembarked safely.

Although one person was reportedly injured during the incident, there was however no loss of life.

According to a statement issued by the airline management, the incident has been reported to the authorities.

Meanwhile, the Accident Investigation Bureau said its safety investigators did an evaluation of the occurrence and decided not to investigate and has released the aircraft to the Operator (Air Peace).

 

Air Operators Commend FG, Customs Over Duty Waivers On Aircraft

 

The Airline Operators of Nigeria (AON) has commended the Federal Government for its swift response in removing 7 per cent surcharge on imported aircraft and spares and the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) for the support it has given to the operators.

The Vice Chairman of AON who is also the Chairman and CEO of Air Peace, Allen Onyema, gave the commendation on Wednesday.

He also frowned at what he described as a media distortion of the proceedings in the interactive forum at the Senate on July 6, 2021, when he made a presentation on behalf of the airlines on the challenges the operators are facing.

According to Onyema, an online medium reported the meeting as an issue concerning Air Peace alone and brought an ethnic dimension to it, which he described as highly condemnable.

He explained that the Senate Committee on Aviation held an interactive meeting with all the aviation agencies in Nigeria led by the Minister of Aviation, Sen. Hadi Sirika, together with all Nigerian airlines represented by the AON leadership in which he represented the association as Vice President and made presentation on behalf of the body.

“The meeting was called by the Senate to discuss the reasons for the recent upsurge in flight delays and flight cancellations amongst other issues and challenges facing the aviation industry. It was on this occasion that AON made its presentation of challenges facing all the airlines. Our member airlines were present but we made an articulated collective presentation to the Senate, which I read as the Vice President on behalf of the association,” he further explained.

“It was on this occasion that AON presented the issue of the partial implementation of the Finance Act 2020 which prohibits the payment of duties and VAT on imported aircraft and aircraft spares by the Customs Service. Of note, was the presence of a 7 per cent Surcharge on the assessed duties which was not supposed to be. This caused delays in the clearance of aircraft and aircraft spares leading to grounding of aircraft that would have been flying,” he explained.

The AON Vice Chairman stated that after the Senate meeting, the airlines contacted the Minister of Finance and Minister of Aviation on the aforementioned challenges and both Ministers, “as representatives of a responsible government, swung into action immediately.”

“AON, for the avoidance of doubt, commends the Federal Government for its unflinching support for the growth of indigenous investments in Nigeria. This was very evident in the manner the government got this challenge addressed immediately within 48 hours to the joy of the airlines.

“We equally commend the Nigerian Customs Service for also assisting the airlines, including but not limited to Air Peace which was used as an example, in getting their aircraft spares and aircraft released. Our planes have since started flying,” he said.

Onyema said since the 7th day of July, 2021, airlines have been clearing their aircraft spares and aircraft without having to pay any 7 per cent surcharge.

“It is therefore very mischievous for any media outfit to be circulating videos of the presentation of AON complaints made on July 6th two weeks after the said presentation and two weeks after the issues had been resolved as though they are still existing”.

The target of the sponsors of this falsehood is the Federal Government of President Muhammadu Buhari. I personally frown at the ethnic angle presently circulating in the social media that the ‘Fulani’ is destroying Air Peace.

“Those who want the country to go up in turmoil will never stop fanning divisive falsehood. The video was deliberately doctored to show only my face while obscuring the presence of the entire Senate committee members, Minister of Aviation and the leadership of all Aviation agencies in Nigeria. The target here is also me. No amount of deliberate intimidation, blackmail and falsehood will deter me from standing up for Peace and unity in my country. This has been my life since my childhood.

“It is very untrue that Air Peace is being dealt with by the ‘fulani’ rather the Federal Government led by President Muhammadu Buhari is very protective of every indigenous investment including those of the airlines,” he added.

Onyeama said that contrary to the insinuations that only Air Peace was singled out by Customs to pay those contested surcharges; it was all the airlines that were affected.

“Nobody is ‘dealing’ with Air Peace rather this government is very protective of Air Peace. This is evident in the government refusing to allow one Middle East airline from coming into Nigeria because its Covid-19 protocol was discriminatory and unfavourable to a Nigerian airline. Which airline is that? Air Peace, of course.

“Those using the social media to destroy the country and promote hate should think of the consequences of their actions. Azman Air was affected and it is owned by a Fulani.

Max Air was affected and it is owned by a Fulani. The list goes on. Why are we bent on spooling out falsehood that causes disunity and tremendous disaffection in the country? Why are people bent on promoting hate amongst our diverse peoples? For those promoting hate, the Rwandan story beckons on them,” he added.

The AON Vice Chairman said the present government, in its pursuit for the growth of indigenous airlines helped in getting the Bill removing duties and VAT from imported commercial aircraft and aircraft spares passed while the President wasted no time in giving his assent and signing into law, describing the move as commendable.

Air Peace Foils Child Trafficking Scheme

 

Nigerian airline, Air Peace has foiled an attempt to traffic two babies by a man and a woman at the Murtala Muhammed Airport, Terminal 2, Lagos.

According to a statement issued by the airline on Tuesday, a Passenger Service Executives and Security Personnel became suspicious when the two adults, travelling to Asaba, were being checked in at the counter.

The suspicion intensified when the two adults, who hinted that the babies were three months old each, had different narratives upon questioning.

Further questioning revealed they were not the parents of the babies.

Consequently, Air Peace’s Security Unit took both of them to the MMA2 Police Station where they admitted to being agents who traffic children for adoption.

The police say the case would be transferred to the National Agency for Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP) for further investigation and action.

This is not the first time the airline is nabbing suspected traffickers.

In June 2018 crew members had foiled two child trafficking schemes on a Lagos–Banjul flight and another in January 2019 on a Lagos-Port Harcourt flight.